Regional Update (July-September 1998)

Index The State of the States Views From the Region Southeastern Manufacturing Survey Southeastern Economic Indicators

Cover Story - What Is Fueling Atlanta's Housing Growth?

Homebuilder John Wieland Assesses Housing Industry Developments

Gulf of Mexico Oil Companies Gush Over New Drilling Technology

The State of the States
T he following is a brief overview of recent economic events and trends in the six states of the Sixth Federal Reserve District

  • The state is experiencing generally sluggish job growth, with net declines in manufacturing.
  • The composition of manufacturing jobs in the state continues to shift from low-wage apparel assembly jobs toward more technically sophisticated jobs in industries such as aerospace. The increase in aerospace jobs is being sparked by military and space-related contracts recently awarded to a contractor in the northern portion of the state.
  • The state continues to add jobs at a rate faster than the nation's, almost 4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Wildfires in the state caused transportation problems for tourists and forced the postponement of a major stock car race in Daytona (with an estimated loss of $300 million).
  • The state's continued strong job growth rate is being pushed up by the rapidly expanding service sector.
  • Very heavy retail development is under way along the I-85 corridor northeast of Atlanta.
  • Severe drought conditions, which have resulted in significant crop losses, continue to plague state farmers.
  • While lower oil prices have diminished onshore drilling activity, they have had limited impact on offshore drilling.
  • Employment growth rates continue to lag behind the district although the state is experiencing employment strength in the construction industry.
  • The Gulf Coast continues to be the center of economic strength in the state, based on the ongoing expansion of the gaming industry in that area.
  • Job growth in the state is decelerating, led by a sharp drop in the growth rate of services.
  • Suppliers in the auto parts industry in both Tennessee and northern Alabama felt the impact of the General Motors strike.
Compiled by staff in the regional section of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.